SINGAPORE: Malaysian minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that his country is committed to ensuring that its fiscal management of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project will have a "robust governance structure" for the transparent and efficient use of resources.
In a statement on Sunday (Dec 11), Abdul Rahman, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, rebutted calls by opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan for the government to be open about the income it would derive from the project and how the cost of construction will be borne by both nations.
The opposition proposed that any signing of agreements on the HSR be postponed until an in-depth, solid and transparent study had been conducted to prove the sustainability of the project.
In response, Abdul Rahman said on Sunday: "I want to emphasise that, the Government has spent a long time researching and analysing the project, to understand the impacts, benefits and risks of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project to the country," he said.
"The background work on the project started in 2011 and only recently, after much work and deliberation, has the government proceeded to develop the HSR project with Singapore."
He added that Malaysia was serious in its commitment to the project and reiterated that the agreement on the HSR was scheduled to be signed between Singapore and Malaysia next week.
He also urged opposition politicians not to "politicise" the HSR issue and "distract the good relationship between both countries".
While he acknowledged that the project was "complicated and extensive", the minister said it was expected to benefit the country economically, socially and technologically.
"Businesses will be more productive and able to access a broader marketplace, while individuals will enjoy an improved travel experience of shorter travel time and a comfortable ride, through the HSR’s city centre to city centre connection along the corridor," he said.
According to Abdul Rahman, more details on the HSR will be announced during the signing of the legally binding agreement between the two countries' prime ministers next week.
"The Government of Malaysia welcomes any feedback from the public at large and ensure it will be given due consideration," he added.